£35,000 Settlement for Botched Nose Surgery Performed by Plastic Surgeon

16th January 2024 – Our client, a 47 year old man from Margate, had a history of boxing and rugby injuries leaving his nose with a prominent bump at the bridge, a twisted tip and a droopy appearance.
He considered remedial surgery and consulted with a leading ENT surgeon in Harley Street who advised on the nature and complexities of the surgery needed. Our client decided against proceeding at that stage.

Some years later, he accompanied a friend seeing Mr John Davison, a plastic surgeon operating out of the Chaucer Hospital in Canterbury. Mr Davison took it upon himself to remark upon the appearance of our client’s nose and advise that he could remedy same through a Rhinoplasty procedure.

Consultations followed in which Mr Davison reiterated, with great confidence, that he would be able to undertake the surgery so that our client was persuaded to proceed with the nose operation together with a procedure on his eyelids.

The operation duly took place at the Chaucer Hospital on 15 December 2018 in the form of a Septorhinoplasty together with four lid Blepharoplasty.

The procedure had a very poor outcome with the tip of the nose left still obviously twisted.

Our client also suffered some loss of smell and taste.

He sought a second opinion in August 2019 from a local ENT surgeon who noted a “complex Septorhinoplasty”, following which there were problems with a restricted airway and breathing, scarring internally and the septum was “very bent”. Revision surgery by a specialist ENT surgeon was advised.

Our client has not, to date, felt able to proceed with the revision surgery, the failure of the original surgery having had a profound effect causing him considerable anxiety as well as distrust in the medical profession.

He approached Fairweathers in 2021 to investigate a claim in clinical negligence and an ENT surgeon confirmed that there were good grounds for such a claim.

In May 2022 we sent a detailed Letter of Claim, with Particulars of Claim, drafted by Counsel, attached, setting out full details of the allegations of negligence in the case. At the same time a Part 36 offer was made to settle the case in the sum of £40,000.

The Defendant’s insurers’ Solicitors produced a Letter of Response in November 2022, completely denying the claim, whilst making an offer to settle the case in the sum of £15,000.

After returning to our expert we sent a detailed rebuttal letter in February 2023 re – iterating the shortcomings in the case as including:- that the complex presentation required the surgery to be undertaken by a specialist ENT surgeon, not a generalist plastic surgeon; poor record keeping; a failure to secure proper informed consent for the surgery; a failure to perform a full examination of the internal structure of the nose prior to surgery; failure to operate on the nasal septum as part of the surgery in order to straighten the nose; inappropriate clinical conduct and advice following the failure of the surgery.

Despite an extension of limitation being agreed with a view to narrowing the contested issues in the case, the Defendant, through his solicitors, never returned to us to attempt to do so.

Ultimately, in a final attempt to settle the case, pre-issue, without recourse to proceedings, we sent a detailed without prejudice letter in August 2023, serving our ENT and psychiatric condition and prognosis evidence, on a without prejudice basis, alongside renewing our Part 36 offer to settle the case in the sum of £40,000.

The time for acceptance of that offer was extended but then we heard nothing further and the extension deadline elapsed. This left the Claimant with no option other than to issue proceedings which he did in September 2023.

Only following this did the Defendant finally return to us, in September 2023, making a Part 36 offer to settle the case for £30,000 together with a Calderbank offer to settle the case in the sum of £35,000.

The Calderbank offer was accepted, bringing the case to a conclusion.

Nick Fairweather who had conduct of this matter commented at the conclusion of the case:- “It is very important that patients are fully informed about any type of surgical procedure so as to give their proper informed consent. Also that all doctors including, in particular, plastic surgeons, ensure that they only operate within their competencies. Regrettably, our client was not well served by the surgeon on this occasion and I hope that he learns lessons from this experience for the future. I pay tribute to our client for his perseverance and measured approach to this case in taking every opportunity possible to put forward the claim, narrow issues and settle the case without recourse to Court proceedings, He was really left with no choice other than to issue proceedings ultimately, whereupon the Defendant, through his solicitors, finally took a sensible approach to the case and matters were able to be resolved soon after. It is just a pity that this did not happen at a much earlier stage. My client is a successful businessman and this case was never about the money. Rather, it was about holding the surgeon to account. I wish my client all the very best for the future”

Our client commented:- “Nick and all of his colleagues at Fairweather Solicitors were brilliant right from the outset. All of the legal processes was fully explained by the team including the funding terms which incidentally I notice were far better than the large TV advertised law firms. This Kent based firm took on  the large London firm defending the surgeon with a professional and comprehensive work ethos. They invested heavily in consulting all the Top Medical Experts to assess the results of my surgery and even referred me to a Harley Street Psychiatrist to establish the emotional damage that the botched operation had caused me. The terrible work on my surgery and the awful results and resulting scar tissue have left me struggling to breathe through my nose. I will potentially need 2 further nose operations to try to right my Rhinoplasty. Thankfully Fairweathers successfully pursued my claim so that any future operation costs are now more than fully covered. I can highly recommend Fairweathers Solicitors for any Medical Negligence Claims. They have carved a niche in this area and are highly efficient in achieving the right result for their clients. Thank you Fairweathers Solicitors.”

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